Thursday, April 09, 2009

Liveblogging Meet-up w/Blue Dog Jim Cooper

Coop's quote of the morning: "Scariest thing a politician can say is 'I'll be brief'"

Thinks we should have vigorous and open debate on intellectual property issues -- response to Aunt B's question about Google essentially taking over public domain -- Coop advocates coming up with new models rather than thinking in archaic terms about publishing.

Coop says that no one has worked harder for universal health coverage, and they should have allowed a vote on his health plan 10 years ago -- in response to Southern Beale's question about health care coverage -- he says that he has compromised on individual coverage; Obama is right to start on affordability. Propose altering 80-90% of Medicaid program, which would challenge "liberal orthodoxy."

Coop comments that insurance companies compete to get rid of you; under his plan they would not be allowed to get rid of you. Wants to lead with health care to produce some gratitude and support from voters for some reform.

Coop's communications guy, John Spragens, calls the magistrate process in the Nashville justice system a good "choke point" to deter abuses by police who round immigrants up "to send them back to Mexico" without question or due process.

Coop said that Tennessee consumes more energy than any other state and that Nashville has the most energy inefficient homes in the country.

Coop would reform the Tennessee Valley Authority by putting specialists in charge on the board rather than the political appointees that currently populate it.

Coop stopped short of expressing support for Chip Forrester, although he did say that he liked him and that the "circular firing squads" should stop.

Coop is thinking about introducing a plan to limit contributions of defense contractors to members of Congress. Believes that we should attempt to protect defense industry jobs, but believes that financing also influences the congressional armed services decision-making process.

Meet up ended around 9:15, although I stuck around for a little while to chew the fat with Spragens afterwards.

Thanks to Spragens and Rep. Jim Cooper for inviting me to sit in. Coop says that he hopes to have more meet-ups with other local bloggers in the future.

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